Missouri Department of Conservation is working to get rid of invasive Callery pear trees

Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. — You can get paid if you are willing to cut down any Callery pear trees on your property.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) partnered with the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), The Missouri Community Forestry Council and the Forest ReLeaf of Missouri are hosting a buy-back of the Callery pear tree on April 20 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Below is how to sign up as a participant:

  • Click here to be taken to the website to register as a participant before April 19.
  • Take individual photos of your Callery pear trees with yourself next to them.
  • Upload the photos and choose a replacement tree species and time slot for pick-up.

Free replacement trees will be provided to registered participants at the MDC Central Regional Office at 3500 East Gans Rd. in Columbia, Missouri.

The Callery pear trees are native to China and the MDC said they present “significant ecological concerns.”

“Callery pears have been a tree many people have enjoyed for years,” said Ann Koenig, MDC community forester. “However, besides the fact that these trees often break apart in storms, and that they have foul-smelling flowers, it turns out these trees are spreading throughout fields and forests, causing problems in our more natural areas. We are excited to work with our partners to provide great, native trees to those who are ready to replace them.”

Here are some ways to tell if a tree is a Callery pear tree.

  • Limbs grow vertically to form a pyramid or egg shape.
  • In April, the trees grow dense clusters of white flowers that cover the tree before leaves form.
  • Trees grow 30-40 feet in maturity.

A photo of some Callery pear trees:

Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

The MDC said owners should cut the trees during the spring in order to reduce population spreading.

For more information, click here or contact MoIP contract coordinator Tina Casagrand by emailing info@moinvasives.org or calling (417) 299-1794.

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